The rise of market-capitalism and the roots of anti-American terrorism
We examine the role of market-capitalism in anti-American terrorism, differentiating between level- and rate-of-change-effects associated with market-capitalist development and their respective relationship with anti-U.S. violence. Using panel data for 149 countries between 1970 and 2007, we find that higher levels of capitalist development - consistent with the capitalist-peace literature - coincide with less anti-American terrorism, while the marketization process has inflammatory effects on anti-American terrorism. These findings are further corroborated by system-level time-series evidence. We argue that a higher level of market-capitalism is associated with less anti-American terrorism by creating economic interdependencies and a convergence of pro-peace values and institutions, while the destabilizing effects of the marketization process may stem from the violent opposition of various anti-market interest groups to economic, politico-institutional and cultural change initiated by a transition towards a market economy. These interest groups deliberately target the U.S. as the main proponent of modern capitalism, globalization and modernity, where anti-American terrorism serves the purpose of consolidating their respective societal position. Our findings that the U.S. may ultimately become a less likely target of transnational terrorism through the establishment of market economies, but should not disregard the disruptive political, economic and cultural effects of the marketization process in noncapitalist societies.
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